Mystagogic Realism

Sarah Hinlicky Wilson

Mystagogical Realism.

Admittedly, this coinage owes a great deal to the term “magical realism” as applied to Gabriel García Márquez’s tremendous One Hundred Years of Solitude.

But mystagogy is not magic. It goes back to Cyril of Jerusalem, whose “Mystagogical Homilies” prepared catechumens for the sacraments.

Such a wonderful word—“instruction in the mysteries”—that captures beautifully what great works of fiction in a Christian key accomplish.

Mystagogy is not escape. It’s not denial. It’s not evasion.

Mystagogy plants you firmly in God’s creation, the only place where God’s redemption can take hold and prepare you for God’s ultimate transformation.

Hence, mystagogical realism: the real work of the real God in the real world to bring real people into divine mysteries.